Policy Documents

Fix Medicare, Not Medigap

Merrill Matthews Jr. –
March 18, 1997

In this document, the author writes that we should fix medicare, not close the gaps in portability of insurance.  He asserts that the bipartisan legislative attempt to make medigap insurance “portable" hopes to capitalize on the popularity of policy, which pays many or all of the costs Medicare does not.

While the medigap market is not perfect, reforms passed by Congress in 1990 which became effective in 1992 have gone a long way toward solving any problems. The Kassebaum-Kennedy health insurance reform bill, which sought to make traditional health insurance portable so that people could retain health insurance coverage during job transition. But the new legislation targets the wrong market. If Congress really wants to help, it should reform Medicare, not medigap.